In a touching tale a boy raises an orphaned baby kangaroo in the outback of Australia but due to events beyond his control is forced to return the animal to the wild. A film for animal lovers of all ages.
Beautifully photographed and acted. A classic animal story.
AUSTRALIA’S BEST CHILDREN’S FILM AWARD
AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL “CINE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARD”
August 26, 2009
More about childhood...
...and about the sensitivity a boy has for the bounty of life that surrounds him-- as contrasted to the adults around him, who have entirely become social beings that have no connection to nature at all-- than anything for animal lovers.
The film starts with the boy riding with his father in the family truck, trying to figure out how to do cat's cradle with a loop of string, while dad is driving. In a moment of distraction-- he feels the need to yank the string from his boy's fingers-- dad hits and kills a female red kangaroo that is crossing the road (great start to an animal lover's movie, no?). Clearly, it is the compassion for his son, and not for the 'roo, that causes dad to stop and check her for signs of life, and to allow his son to take the joey from her pouch to raise as a pet.
'Roos are wild, and the boy of course knows nothing about how to domesticate an animal. Consequently, the joey, being true to its own nature (which is contrary to that of human society), gets into all kinds of mischief. When Joey gets into mom's flower garden, mom swats him(?) with a broom (there's an animal lover for you), and the boy has to build Joey a pen. Later, when the family is in town, Joey raids a street vendor's egg cart, to which the vendor responds by attempting to blow Joey apart with a shotgun (!!).
The best part of the film is where the boy befriends an aborigine-- who is ordinarily no friend of the European invader-- while out searching for his lost Joey. The aborigine helps him search, finds Joey (who is injured), and helps the boy carry Joey home in a sling. The boy is thus shown to have more in common with the aborigines, who are also sensitive to the life all around them, than with the adults of his own culture.
Finally, Joey wrecks the livingroom. Immediately thereafter, the family's shepherd dog attacks Joey. Joey successfully defends himself, injuring the dog. The parents have had enough, and Joey has to go. The film ends with the boy waiving his Joey goodbye, while bawling his eyes out in grief for his loss. The lesson: there is no place in the (European) social order of things for a boy and his wild Joey friend. Though this is a worthwhile message, it's not quite the sort of thing I think of when I read "A film for animal lovers of all ages."